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Sunny, cool weather will close out 2008

Sunny but cool weather is on tap for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday in Fort Worth, according to the National Weather Service.

Overnight temperatures will be in the upper 30s to low 40s, but the mercury will edge toward a high in the mid 50s, said Jason Dunn, a weather service meteorologist. That follows today's high in the 70s.

The kickoff will be at 11 a.m. in the contest between Air Force and the University of Houston at Amon G. Carter Stadium, Texas Christian University, but pre-game festivities start around 8:30 a.m.

"It should be pretty nice," Dunn said, "but a little breezy in the morning with winds around 15 mph. We have a cool front coming down, but it will be dry, with no cloud cover."

And if you like that forecast you'll enjoy New Year's Day, which is also expected to be sunny with highs near 60, Dunn said.

That forecast will hold through the weekend, although the high temperature Saturday will be pushing 70 degrees. Sunday, however, will be 10 degrees cooler and partly cloudy, the weather service said.

Sunday and Monday present the first chances for rain in the new year, Dunn said.

"Monday has a strong upper-level storm system coming through, with temperatures in the 40s," Dunn said.

Assuming it won't rain again until then, 2008 will end with 27.10 inches of rain in Fort Worth, which is 7.63 inches below the normal reading of 34.73, Dunn said.

But 2008 will be far from the driest year on record in Fort Worth. To be that, it would have had to surpass 31 drier years.

The driest is 1921, when only 17.91 inches were recorded in Fort Worth, Dunn said.